I live on a sizeable quinta (a villa or small estate) near Loja—deep in southern Ecuador. Here the weather is so mild, I live in the open air year-round. Being so near the equator means the temperature never gets too cold, while the Andean elevation keeps the air from ever getting unbearably hot.
Passing through the U.S. for a State-side International Living conference recently, I made a stop at a tailor shop to get some emergency repairs done. The tailor turned out to be from Mexico…she’d moved with her mother and daughter to the U.S. some years ago to, as she put it, “get ahead.”
“Winning the lottery without paying for the ticket.” That’s how S.D. Williams, 55, and his wife Bobi, 53, feel about their decision to retire to Panama in 2011.
“Gold Coast” is synonymous with an idyllic beach paradise. Among the few stretches of coastline on the planet that share this nickname is Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast. And deservedly so. For me—and the thousands of expats who call this region home—this is beach living at its best.
My wife, Rita, and I just returned from a three-week visit to the States and, as usual, we are very happy to be home. Home for us, at least for the past three years, is the resort town of Salinas, on the southern coast of Ecuador.
When Rita and I made the decision to move to the most popular beach resort in Ecuador, the number one reason was the climate. We traded cold, snowy winters and hot, blistering summers for a place where there are no extremes.
"Ecuador is amazing," says expat Laura Zabroski. "We were so surprised during our exploratory trip here. We had all these preconceived ideas about Ecuador that were completely inaccurate."
I’m a new arrival in Cotacachi, a small town of around 8,000 people in the valley between two volcanoes in Ecuador, far away from my former home in the U.S. My new life chapter called for quick adaptations and a ready sense of humor.
As we lounge by the pool on this glorious sunny day, I marvel at the amazing lifestyle my wife, Johanne, and I have created for ourselves in less than a year. We had no idea that all of this was achievable—and that it would cost us so little.
Ecuador has long appealed to expats and we have a solid group of international residents scattered throughout the nation. The family that lives next door to me hails from Australia. I buy my hearty European-style bread from a German fellow. And my family and I rented our first apartment from a woman from Spain.